literary fiction Archive

When Scientists Study Novels

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The point is to understand that what constitutes “literary” versus “genre” fiction—an age-old topic of study and debate within literary circles—is fundamental, not ancillary, to scientific findings on the effects of reading novels.

Mary Gordon’s Spending: A Different Breed of Fantasy Lit

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Several years back, I read a book that was unlike nearly any other I’d read before in one striking way: nothing particularly bad happened in it. The protagonist experienced minor internal struggles and dilemmas, but basically, everything came up roses. This felt like a major departure from Great Literature

Round-Down: Enough of Genre Debate Already

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I’m a little disappointed in Jennifer Weiner. And not in the way you’d think. Certainly not in the same way as Jonathan Franzen. Rather, I’m disappointed that she’s seemingly buying into the genre vs. literary distinction while she (admirably and very hilariously) defends herself on Twitter against Franzen’s latest attacks.

Dear Lucy

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Dear Lucy Julie Sarkissian Simon & Schuster, April 2013 340 pages $25.00 Genre: literary fiction, debut. Concerning: Lucy, a young woman whose different way of seeing and behaving has compelled her image-conscious, frustrated mother, Mum mum, to abandon her on a farm. And: Samantha, a pregnant teenager on the